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BEAN & BACON SOUP

6 strips bacon, fried, drained & chopped

3 (19 oz.) cans navy beans, drained

3 medium carrots, chopped

4 C chicken broth

2 tbsp. chopped parsley

1 small onion, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

Salt & pepper to taste

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

In a large pot, place some reserved bacon fat.  Add the carrots, onion, celery and cook until tender.  Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute.  Add 1 ½ cans of beans, bay leaf and broth.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat & simmer soup for 15 – 20 minutes until the carrots are cooked.  Uncover and remove the bay leaf.  Using a potato masher or an immersion blender, partially mash the soup until it thickens slightly.  Stir in the rest of the beans and bacon.  Bring the soup to a simmer.  Season to taste.